By Kirk Kimmelshue, NCBA Public Policy Intern
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) is working to build momentum to pass the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011, which would provide certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not further regulate farm dust. This week, Rep. Noem testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power and explained that without passing her legislation, the threat of further regulation of dust remains.
In addition to testifying before Congress, Noem explained the importance of her bill in a South Dakota newspaper. In an opinion editorial in South Dakota’s Yankton Daily Press, she explained her legislation prohibits EPA from further regulating farm dust and gives certainty to producers across the country.
“This bill is the natural response given the concerns I have heard from farmers and ranchers across South Dakota. Agriculture is a business that has plenty of uncertainties inherent in its nature,” Rep. Noem penned in the editorial. “Flooding, drought, insects and market swings are all volatile factors that a farmer or rancher must consider when doing their job every day. I know this first hand from my experience in the industry.”
Joining Congresswoman Noem’s efforts was another industry leader who knows firsthand about the uncertainties of farming and ranching. Steve Foglesong, immediate past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and a rancher from Astoria, Ill., also explained the role regulatory uncertainty can play on those involved in production agriculture.
“The fact is, farmers and ranchers want and need certainty about this issue. Regulatory uncertainty is unnecessary and unproductive,” said Foglesong. “If EPA follows through and does not revise the dust standard, such an action would only provide us with certainty for five years. It provides no relief to those producers who are spending more than $1,000 per day on dust control measures right now. We need immediate, permanent relief from federal dust regulation on farms. And cattlemen believe the best way to achieve that is by passing the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act.”